|Organization:||Claremont-Mudd College (CA)|
The recipient of the 2001 ABCA/Wilson Lefty Gomez Award was former ABCA Board Member Dr. William Arce.
Born in 1925, Arce was an ambassador of baseball around the globe. He founded the International Sports Group in 1985 and was also inducted to the Dutch and Italian Baseball Halls of Fame for his contributions to baseball in those countries.
Arce was the founding Director of Athletics for Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and was baseball coach from 1959-79.
Arce served as ABCA President in 1974 and was Chairman of the ABCA Board of Directors from 1995-98. He was inducted to the ABCA Hall of Fame in 1982 and the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1976.
At Claremont McKenna College, Arce's leadership of the Athletic Department grew the program from nine men's sports in 1958 to 19 by the time he retired in 1983, which included the addition of several women's sports in what became Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athletics as it is today. The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps baseball field is named in Arce's honor.
On the diamond, he served as head coach from 1959-1979, posted a 446-354-16 record and won three Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles (1970, 1971 and 1975).
Arce was a veteran of World War II, having fought in the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. He received his undergraduate and doctorate degrees from Stanford University.
Named after the great Lefty Gomez, this annual award is presented to an individual who has distinguished himself among his peers and has contributed significantly to the game of baseball locally, nationally and internationally. The Lefty Gomez Award is sponsored by Wilson Sporting Goods.